India: Take Violence Against Women Seriously

The rape of a five-year-old in Delhi has sparked new protests in India demanding more action from the government to curb the nation's rape epidemic. Allegedly, local police refused to help find the missing child, who was left for dead for 48 hours after her assault.

India has done a lot of soul searching in the wake of a horrible rape and murder last December that exposed a national, pervasive problem with sexual assault against women. The country recently passed new, harsher punishments for rapists, including 20-year mandatory minimum sentences and the death penalty for repeated offenders and in cases where the victim dies.

But the recent tragic case in Delhi shows that these punishments aren't enough. Women's advocates and analysts warn that unless police culture is changed to take violence against women seriously, the assaults will continue.

Urge Indian lawmakers to work to ensure women get support from local law enforcement when it comes to pursuing their own safety and, if necessary, justice.
Dear [Decision Maker],

I was pleased to see the government take action to curb India's rape epidemic. But the new harsh punishments recently enacted clearly aren't doing enough. The news that a five-year-old was raped for days while the police refused to help find the missing girl illuminate a bigger problem: lack of respect for women.

India cannot overcome its rape problem until police treat justice for women equally with justice for men. I urge you to take steps to change police culture to ensure violence against women is taken seriously in departments around the country.

[Your comments will be added here.]

Thank you.
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